Lock up your sons: Cougars on the prowl in Gladstone
GLADSTONE, lock up your sons - cougars are on the prowl like never before.
The city's CougarLife.com membership base soared 500% over the past three years.
The site - designed for older women (known as cougars) who want much younger male lovers - has at least 1916 Gladstonites, or 2.9% of the population, onboard.
Avid Life Media, which owns the site, said membership of one of its other websites, AshleyMadison.com, was also sky-rocketing.
There was a 179.4% increase in female Gladstone AshleyMadison members since 2013.
However, Avid Life's EstablishedMen.com seems to be struggling in this region.
It only counts 26 "young and beautiful" local women hoping to hook up with "rich and successful" Gladstone blokes among its members.
Each website offers free membership with limited communication.
"Premium" membership costs about $144 a year and allows two-way messaging between members.
Avid Life Media chief executive Noel Biderman said the desire to find love crossed all social boundaries.
"Regardless of whether someone is from a major city or a regional area, there are people all over the world who are looking to find fulfilment and satisfaction by having affairs," the 44-year-old former lawyer said of his most popular website, AshleyMadison.com.
Social psychologist Jason McIntyre said the growth in online dating websites could have a major impact on the region's families.
"The introduction of these websites will increase people's access to attractive and available partners and potentially increase rates of infidelity in regional areas," the University of Queensland researcher said.
"It's likely that the people going to these websites would simply go to a singles bar if (the sites) didn't exist.
"But, these websites definitely increase people's chances of finding someone they would like to sleep with and, consequently, they may increase infidelity rates, particularly in rural areas where opportunities to cheat have not been present."
BY THE NUMBERS
- 179.4% - Gladstone's female membership growth rate for infidelity website AshleyMadison.
- 500% - Gladstone's female membership growth rate for CougarLife.com.
- 2.9% - or 1916 the number and percentage of the Gladstone population signed onto CougarLife.com.
- 26 - the number of Gladstone women signed on to EstablishedMen.com.
- 66,097 - Gladstone population
Source: Avid Life Media, ABS
- APN NEWSDESK